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CERTIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS - APOSTILLE
Polish public documents intended for circulation in foreign states are certified through:
- Apostille – in the case of documents intended for circulation in states that are parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Journal of Laws of 2005, no. 112, item 938);
- Legalisation – in the case of documents intended for circulation in states that are not parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.
The competent authority to issue the apostille or legalise Polish documents are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as the additional competent authority - to issue the apostille certificates exclusively in respect of university diplomas in art and diplomas of art schools.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Al. Szucha 21, 00-580 Warsaw
Tel.: (+48 22) 523 9845
Office hours: 9.00 am – 2.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Department of Art Education and Cultural Education
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 15/17
Tel.: (+48 22) 421 05 15
Fax (+48 22) 826 14 70
Office hours: 8.15 am – 16.15 pm, Monday to Friday.
The stamp duty charged on certification of documents amounts to: PLN 60 for the apostille and PLN 26 for the legalisation of documents (legal basis: Act of 16 November, 2006, on Stamp Duty, Journal of Laws of 2006, no. 225, item 1635). Stamp duty may be paid in cash at the cashier’s desk located on the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by wire transfer made out to the following account:
Urząd M.St. Warszawy, Dzielnica Śródmieście, ul. Nowogrodzka 43
Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A.
60 1030 1508 0000 0005 5001 0038
Payments from abroad:
SWIFT CODE: "CITIPLPX"
IBAN: "PL 60 1030 1508 0000 0005 5001 0038"
Payment is made for every document certified.
Official documents include acts of civil status, administrative and court documents, notarial deeds and official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity. Pursuant to the convention, they do not include administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations. The issuance of an apostille or legalisation of a document is not necessary when either the laws, regulation or practices in force in the State where the document is produced or an agreement between two or more contracting states have abolished or simplified it or exempt the document itself from legalisation.
Before the apostille is issued or the document can be legalised at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, certain documents first have to be authenticated:
- notarial acts (e.g. notarial deeds, powers of attorney, certified true copies, notarial authentications of signatures) and court documents (except for copies from the National Court Register) are certified by the president of the competent regional court;
- diplomas of higher education institutions are certified by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
- the Minister of National Defence authenticates diplomas of higher military schools; medical school diplomas are authenticated by the Minister of Health; diplomas issued by the Gdynia Maritime University and the Maritime University of Szczecin are authenticated by the Minister of Infrastructure;
- the new Matura is authenticated by the Ministry of National Education;
- school certificates are authenticated by the competent local board of education;
- master craftsman’s certificates and craftsman’s certificates are authenticated by the Association of Polish Crafts in Warsaw;
- commercial documents are authenticated by the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw and by regional chambers of commerce.
Applications for the issue of the apostille or for legalisation of documents may be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs personally or by a third person (no additional authorisation is required) and the application is analysed “on the spot”. Documents may be sent by mail, also from abroad. When certifying documents that have been sent by mail, you must include proof of payment of the stamp duty (copy of a bank wire transfer or printed electronic account statement) in your mail and provide your return address. Certified documents will then be sent to you by mail, also abroad. The document certification period is 2-3 weeks.
Greater numbers of documents (more than 20) are legalised after prior arrangement by telephone.
An up-to-date list of states parties to the Hague Convention of 1961 is available on the HCCH website or at the legalisation centre: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=41See more